Matt 2 16-23
Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah:
“A voice was heard in Ramah,
weeping and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
The Return to Nazareth
But when Herod died, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, “Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the child’s life are dead.” And he rose and took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee. And he went and lived in a city called Nazareth, so that what was spoken by the prophets might be fulfilled, that he would be called a Nazarene.
Herod’s response is predictable, violent and tragic. But as his trap shuts closed the baby boy he was after was on his way to another land. No doubt he chose 2 years because of the time he had been given by the wise men about when they first saw the star. Obviously the story is good for our heroic family but sad for many parents and with the tragic loss of life for many little boys. I don’t like the story, but when people set their hearts on evil ways, sadly many innocent are affected. It is a story true to life’s experiences. Joseph again gets instructions via a dream and an angel and takes his wife and baby boy back into Israel but to Nazareth in Galilee. Again according to Matthew thereby fulfilling prophecy and establishing Jesus in the town where he is to grow up and from where, when he reaches the age considered being mature enough, he begins his teaching and healing ministry – leading to his death ordered by those who by then sat in Herod’s seat of authority.
Prayer: Politics and Religion are complex things to think and talk about, but so much seems to hang on who I believe Jesus is. Please give me wisdom as I consider these things.